Grow Your Own, Harvests, Recycling, Storage, Writing

GYO – Saving Seeds

Today I have been adding to my seed collection, the Honey dew melon seeds germinated brilliantly and I have three large plants that have been grown on to date. I had previously added a large amount of work on to my site which unfortunately was lost as we were changing providers, however I see this as a new start to learn from my previous experience allowing me to refine my writing skills and share my yearly journey through the changing seasons…

As for seeds, I have had a few visits to the allotment over the last few weeks and I am finding the energy that comes from your first harvests dwindling as autumn weather draws near. My second sowing of beans are growing well up the new arches and a new succession of Pumpkins, Tomatoes and courgettes are setting, ensuring a regular harvest.

As my Calendula recovered post drought I have managed to collect around 250g of seed to date, once the heads are dry and the seeds are clearly visible they can be ground off and placed into a container ready for storage. This year I planted around ten plants which has created a large return, as next year I plan to grow seedlings to donate or sell on locally. This will allow me to buy a few seed packets which I would like to try next year.

I grew around five nasturtium plants which I am now harvesting the pods for next year, this will again allow me to sow my own and grow on some extra plants. The plants I bought were six for a pound from a garden sale in a local village, grown by a young man with additional needs and sold on by his parents. I was happy to buy a few plants as they were in fabulous condition, I also purchased a few herbs which I potted up around the front of the Allotment shed.

I have again been collecting Watermelon seeds to add to my honey dew melon seeds, these are from the fruit that I have bought for my children. Any seeds that are set within the fruit will require placing in a jar of water for a few days, this will allow the seeds to become clear of the syrupy dew which if left will cause them to rot. I find after a few days you can set them out on paper towel to dry before storing for the following year.

The key to storing seeds is to place them, once dry in an envelope of paper bag to ensure no moisture, as this can affect their viability. Glass or plastic can be used but you have to ensure that the seeds are completely dry, as any moisture will cause deterioration in the form of mould.

Finally as I am harvesting my bean pods I am storing around ten to ensure I can grow them again next year, they grow to around a foot long and have around seven seeds per pod. I find the beans are better podded, but they are ideal for adding to a Sunday Lunch or a chilli. As I previously planted the pods dried out by the heat, the plants which should provide an autumn harvest, I will still need to retain some for next year.

I have been blessed with one flint corn plant from the twenty five I planted, this is already producing two cobs which I am extremely grateful for. This will allow me to store the seed for next year to hopefully grow two small fields of corn as we all enjoy them as addition to our Sunday lunch.

Finally my fabulous multi stemmed giants! the sunflowers have produced enormous heads which are beginning to produce their seeds. As I have six large heads of various varieties I will extract the seeds, I have purchased some jewellery bags and plan to design the labels and pack a set amount per bag to sell or donate locally. Again this will share the wealth and allow me to purchase a few more varieties to add to my collection.

But my Joy this week is watching my daughter grow in confidence and the arrival of the 2019 Kings Seeds Catalogue. I am looking forward to finding a few new gems to try for next year, although my collection is already set, apart from the main root crops, seed potatoes, onion sets and peas which I will buy in as the season progresses…

Happy Horticulture

Cheryl

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